Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cider Review: Starcut Immortal Jelly

January is here, but I'm thinking about fruits, berries, and sunshine, even though I know for the most part these things are months away. So, I am returning to a cider I tasted back in June while visiting dear friends. We walked outside with bare arms. Hence the un-cropped silly picture; it captures the casual pleasant moments of reviewing this cider.               

Based in Michigan, Starcut Ciders just celebrated their second birthday! This cidery is an enterprise that comes out of Short's Brewing Company. The folks wanted to take advantage of Michigan's bountiful apple crops, so started a cidery. This marks my first review for them.

You can find out plenty of additional information on Starcut's website: http://starcutciders.com/

Here's the company's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/starcutcidersmi/?fref=ts

I'm including Starcut Cider's description of their Immortal Jelly:
Immortal Jelly is a semi-dry hard cider inspired by Short’s Brewing Company’s Soft Parade. Immortal Jelly is fermented with Michigan apples and a blend of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. This cider is rose in color and has scents of tart fruit. Immortal Jelly’s complex blend of berry fruit flavors provides a big tart acidity up front before a semi-dry finish.
They list the ABV as a relatively low 5.1%.

Appearance: beyond cloudy, ruby, no visible bubbles

This cider's Color is opaque ruby, and as the picture shows its almost entirely opaque. Both of these facets separate the appearance of this cider from most. Its lovely and very different.

Aromas: Beer yeast, cranberries, lots of aroma, fresh apple.

What I notice most when smelling this cider is the beer like notes. Secondarily, I get aromas of tart berries like cranberries and blackberries.
Dryness/sweetness: semi-dry

One aspect of the Immortal Jelly that's particularly neat is that it's very fruity but not too sugary. I'd have no trouble calling it a semi-dry.

Flavors and drinking experience: beery, sour, raspberry

This cider has a SUPER beery first taste, after which the bubbles go crazy, and quickly it creates a wall of sour, raspberry flavor. This is a nice quick three-part experience. Beer, then the carbonation crests, then I taste berries. Lastly, I get a pleasant bready finish that reminds me of fresh sourdough.

This cider offers up high acids and low to middling range (but present) tannins. The flavors come across as bright but not aggressive in either sourness, beeriness, or fruitiness. The mouthfeel is decently full tasting. I can detect one very little note of funk, but nothing overly challenging. Rather, it reminds me of a lambic or a sour beer. A solid combination of very accessible while still being decidedly interesting enough to talk about. What a neat cider. I look forward to trying more things by Starcut Ciders as I see them.

And just for a last picture. This company has really neat labels and fabulous label art. Feast your eyes.

I didn't pair this with much aside from relaxing and friends. I think we had some tasty fruit and cheese on the table, but our focus was on conversation and being in the moment. Were I to pair the cider again, knowing its flavors, I think it would be ridculously fun as brunchy cider with a tofu scramble or some big wheaty waffles and butter. You could also be a bit more restrained and have the Immortal Jelly with a salmon under a creamy custardy sauce. Treat it like a dry raspberry lambic, and you will go in the right direction. But I really wouldn't change a thing about activities for the cider; enjoy it with people you care about. Relax into this interesting cider.